Following three days of protests against police brutality and nights full of vandalism against D.C. businesses, Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered a 7 p.m. curfew for Monday, June 1, and Tuesday, June 2.
The curfew, effective overnight through the early mornings, could restrict takeout business for restaurants who were already facing steep losses during the coronavirus crisis and had been allowed to reopen limited outdoor seating just three days earlier.
“We applaud the American spirit of protest, especially protest to the federal government,” Bowser said in a news conference. “However we do not, and we will not allow the continued destruction of our hometown.”
The curfew does not apply to credentialed media and healthcare workers, Bowser said. On Sunday night, Bowser instituted an 11 p.m. curfew that included instructions for most people to refrain from walking, biking, running, standing, or driving in any public places in the city.
Crowds of around 1,000 people demonstrated near the White House on Saturday and Sunday, joining people across the country in protesting the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by a white former police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis. After dark on both nights, people in D.C. damaged restaurants and other retail businesses by breaking windows, setting fires, and looting. Several restaurants that suffered property damage have continued to voice support for the protesters on social media.
“Every single American should be outraged by the murder of George Floyd,” Bowser said. “However, smashed windows and looting are becoming a bigger story than the systems that got us here.”